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October 10, 2010

Lord of the Rings Online increases its user base and revenues after switching to ‘Free to Play’

Earlier this week Joystiq reported that Lord of the Rings Online developed by Turbine has seen its MMO game revenue double and user based increased by 400% since the developer switched to a free to play model as opposed to a monthly subscription. Joystiq reported:

“Lord of the Rings Online Executive Producer Kate Paiz announced during a panel at GDC Online 2010 today that Turbine has done it again: Lord of the Rings Online has doubled its revenue and created over a million new accounts since going free-to-play early last month. That’s the second MMO Turbine has taken from a paid subscription to a hybrid microtransactions-based business model, with Dungeons and Dragons Online doing the same thing last year

You might be wondering why is this relevant to Ensemble or one of its studios forming out of the closure? Well, its a relevant news story for Robot Entertainment and Age of Empires fans as it shows how successful MMO like games can be with a free to play model. Age of Empires Online as developed by Robot Entertainment will be launching with a free to play model where by the game will be free to download and play but paid for additional content will also be available. This model is very close to what Turbine have very successfully adopted for Lord of the Rings Online. The Lord of the Rings Online game demonstrates that free to play with paid for extras does work and is profitable for the publisher.

Of course AOE-O isnt quite a traditional MMO, more a MMORTS, but this article from Joystiq might help convince those doubting the AOE-O free to play model.


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